OTTAWA — And then there was one.
Ottawa-Glandorf took a major step towards another Western Buckeye League title after the Titans took out Shawnee in 25-9, 25-22 and 25-16 Thursday night to become the lone team without a loss in the league.
The Titans sport a 5-0 mark in the WBL and improved to 13-1 overall. Shawnee, which came in with no losses in the league, slips to 4-1 in the WBL and 12-4 overall.
The Titans overwhelmed the Indians in the first set but needed comebacks in the final two games to record the victory.
Titan head coach Ann Ellerbrock said her team showed a lot fortitude.
“I don’t know if it was too easy but we came out determined to play,” Ann Ellerbrock said about the first game. “This is some of the best volleyball I’ve seen from this group for a couple of weeks because we have been playing a little sluggish. They were ready to play.”
Blocking was an essential part of the Titans’ victory as their net play produced big blocks and helped neutralize the Indians’ ability to record kills.
Titans Maddie White and Kasey Ellerbrock were credited with four blocks each.
“We play good defense and blocked well and we worked on that this week because I thought our block is what we were going to need to stop Amber Greeley,” the Titan head coach said. “We try to scout our opponent and try to work on that for the week.”
Greeley had six kills on the night with four of those coming in the final set. The talented Indian contributed 11 blocks and was instrumental in Shawnee’s showing in the final two sets. Teammate Kelsey Fischbach finished with 10 assists, five digs and three aces and Dayle Aldrich had 17 digs. Karrington Green had three kills, three blocks and three digs.
In addition to the defensive work by the Titans, the one-two punch of Erica Annesser and Taylor Alt provided the kills on offense. Annesser had 12 kills and Alt added 11.
While that potent duo collected their kills, Ann Ellerbrock said she was proud of the team’s total involvement.
“I was happy with the overall play and the distribution of the overall attack,” Ann Ellerbrock said. “It was not just one person getting the ball all the time.”
Shawnee head coach Amy Knight said her team has a habit of watching in the early going and then reacting, something that cannot be done against a team like Ottawa-Glandorf.
“They like to watch and see and gather and then come out and gather their intelligence as a team and it is not a habit we have broken halfway through the season,” Knight said.
Knight, who added the team is dealing with some illness issues, was encouraged by her team’s play in the second and third games.
“We have had a little emotional hiccup but O-G is a great opponent,” Knight said. “They have high expectations of themselves and O-G had high expectations of us and I am glad that we could come out in the last two games and play and know where they are and where we are and we wish them the best of luck.”
The Titans showed off a number of their weapons as they spiked, served and dinked their way to the easy first game victory.
Credit Shawnee for regrouping in the second and third set and making it tougher on the Titans especially up front where Shawnee was more aggressive at the net defensively and produced a number of blocks to slow down the Titan offensive machine.
However, the Titans adjusted as well and were more inclined to dink rather than spike to secure important points.
Serving was also a major component in the Titans’ victory. Ottawa-Glandorf recorded 13 aces on the night. In the third game, the Titans’ serving talents sparked the come-from-behind win. Down 9-6 Taylor Alt, better known for her devastating spikes, produced two aces to get Ottawa-Glandorf event at 9-9 and then teammate Saleigha Ellerbrock highlighted a 10-3 run with three consecutive aces to give the Titans a 19-12 advantage that would lead to the win. Atl and Saleigha Ellerbrock both finished the night with four aces, respectively.
“I know in game three Saleigha Ellerbrock came in got three right in a row and the momentum shifted,” Ann Ellerbrock said. “She did a nice job.”
In the assist department, Kendra Ellerbrock finished with 15 and Brianna Schimoeller had 11. Libero Claire Eiden had 14 digs.